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kismet14 posted:
A month ago, my mother had mastectomy - right breast. She had her first chemotherapy last Thursday. Based on the size of the tumor, the surgeon said it was Stage IIIA with metastases to 16/20 lymph nodes. But this changed when we got the result of the CT scan of her upper abdomen. She already has hepatic metastasis. Her oncologist told us that she is breast CA Stage IV. He added that her cancer is not curable though it can be controlled through chemotherapy. I'm so scared. I've been so close to my mom. I can't imagine what life would be like for me without her by my side. I can't sleep at night thinking that she would suffer... that she'd be in pain. She doesn't deserve this.
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rachael67 responded:
Sometimes I wonder who is affected the most by cancer: The patients or those who love them?

May I begin with a bit of encouragement? We have many, many members in this Exchange who have lived and continue to do so very full lives despite a diagnosis of stage IV cancer. The doctor is right! There is no cure, but management is possible. (I hope some of those members will chime in here and share thier stories to reassure you.)

Will this be a battle for Mom? You bet? Will there be many difficult times. Sadly, yes. Hopefully the pain will be addressed and treated fairly well. (I cannot speak to total illimination of it, however, Again, perhaps other members can. If not, perhaps Doctor Kelly will.)

So, what can you, an observer do to help? Primarily and always first and foremost, BE THERE FOR HER! Not just physically but emotionally as well. You are her daughter!!! That is a title of such import that only a Mother could appreciate all it contains! When she wants to cry, you will provide the tissues. When she is at her weakest, you will be her strength. When she needs a hug and reassurance, you will provide both! And when she wants to be left alone? Ah! That's the tough part! Then you will have to understand and give her a bit of time and space. (Not too long, however!!)

There are many practical things that you'll also be able to do: Go with her to appointments. Do research on the internet to learn more so that when she has to make choices (and there will be many), you will be able to help her in that. Do shopping, cleaning, cooking. Find folks who can also pitch in and offer help...they will most likely need someone to help organize and direct what and when. You can do that. (And, Gal!! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT HELP!! YOU will need some rest so that you can help Mom. Make sure you get it!!)

You can also help keep those who care about Mom informed on how she is doing, and help screen folks that Mom may want to avoid during this time. (The more upbeat, encouraging voices and smiling faces she sees, the more she is apt to stop dwelling on bad stuff.)

Again, members will be joining in this discussion with other ideas. I hope we can help somewhat.

Please feel free to come here as often as you need. We are open 24/7 just for one another.

Know you and Mom will be in our thoughts.

blessings.
Rachael
 
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kismet14 replied to rachael67's response:
Thank you so much Rachael.
 
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bc090109 responded:
kismet14,

Being there for your mom, as Rachael said, will be so precious and important to her now. Also, as Rachael said, many continue to lead full lives despite a Stage IV diagnosis. Both of you will have good and bad days with how you're handling the diagnosis and treatments. But it's important that you don't allow yourselves to dwell on the negative stuff for too long in order to avoid falling into a depression. If you or your mom find yourselves thinking too much for too long, try to refocus your thoughts on something else like new house projects, go out to lunch, go for a scenic walk, or read a book. Anything to refocus the negative thinking onto something more positive. Staying positive is difficult for anyone dealing with 'the beast'. But its better to work towards being positive when it can have a much better impact on one's health.
 
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kismet14 replied to bc090109's response:
Thanks a lot bc090109 . I'll remember everything you said.
 
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kismet14 replied to rachael67's response:
Rachael ,

3 months ago I joined in this discussion. My mom has just been diagnosed then with breast CA stage IV. I was so scared then thinking I'd lose my mom soon and that I'd see her go through pain because of cancer. Everything was just too much for me to grasp.

Well, I'm still scared just as I was 3 months ago. Still have the same concerns - will we be given the chance to spend more time with mom... can mom still handle all the drugs going through her body... how long can we bear seeing her go though pain... how far can we go??? And I would like to thank you and and bc090109 for your words have given me comfort and hope. From time to time I go back here and read your messages over and over again so that I'd be reminded of not dweilling too much on my fear of the things to come and just continue to live a beautiful life with my mom and know that God has a beautiful plan for our family.

My nanay (that's how i call her) will have her 6th cycle of chemotherapy by the end of June. That would be her last. I'm hoping and praying that her tests after that would show positive results.

Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over... She became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!
. (thanks for this. i've already memorized this by heart)


noemi
manila, philippines
 
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rachael67 replied to kismet14's response:
Noemi, I am glad to hear from you again! Often we have folks drop in and then seem to disappear. We miss them and wonder how they are doing. It's good to hear your "voice" once again!

How is Mom doing? Have they put a good treatment plan in place for her? I pray it was one which wasn't too difficult for her. I see that she is coming up on her final chemo at the end of June....We will all board the Pink Bus to escort her to the final tx. What is the date? Afterward, let's plan a celebration. We can vicariously go somewhere that she especially likes ...any suggestions?

The worry and concern? I'm afraid that isn't going away any day soon. Something odd happens when we invest in others by loving them: They possess a part of us forever! So where ever they or we go, or whatever each of us does, we're in it together! Good and bad. The wonderful part of that equation is that we get to love and be loved! We are never alone!

The bad side, however, is that though we share each other's joy, so, too, we share each other's pain. The yin and yang. But even in this we never have to feel alone!

Some folks tell us that life is the greatest gift we are given...I would disagree! The greatest gift we are given is to love and be loved! All challenges are lessened and all joys increased!

So, celebrate today with Mom. Hold onto each other. Never loose a chance to let each other know of your love. Come here as often as you wish! And remember that you both remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Blessings.
Rachael

PS..I am so glad that you like my "signature"...It has offered me reassurance for a long time!
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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kismet14 replied to rachael67's response:
Rachael,

The day i dread the most came last November 5. After 9 months of battling against cancer, my mom passed away. I try to find consolation in the thought that she now feels no more pain, but the emptiness I feel is far too great for me to accept that the most important woman in my life is now gone.

Noemi
Manila, Philippines
 
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rachael67 replied to kismet14's response:
Ah, Noemi, I am so very sorry to read of your news. I can appreciate how empty and lonely you must be now, and realizinging that Mom is no longer in pain, sometimes isn't enough to dull your own. I do hope you will eventually find the sweet memories which will help fill the emptiness.

You were a caring, loving daughter and that had to offer her the best comfort she could ask. Please focus on that!!! Even if in your mind you minimize all that you did becase it couldn't hold back death, it was the most precious thing that you could do, the greatest gift!! Having one who loves you give of themselves is a treasure that far too few ever receive...But your Mom did!!!

The tough part now is living! Facing the rest of your life without her beside you. But know that she will always be no further than a thought away!!!

We will hold you in our hearts. Come back from time to time and let us know how you are doing. Okay?

And, don't forget the Candle Site...You can light a candle in your mom's honor!

Blessings and peace.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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Andie_WebMD_Staff replied to kismet14's response:
I am also so very sorry for your loss, Noemi. It's okay to mourn and let the pain from that now empty spot in your heart to heal.

Yes, your mom is in no more pain and you can find some consolation there one day. But, right now, just let yourself mourn and eventually it will balance itself out.

I lost my mom when I was 22 and I still have moment that overwhelm me. I just count those as moments that her presence was with me stronger than ever.

I would encourage you to also reach out to the Grief and Loss Community for support through this time, too. Take care. (((Hugs)))
 
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kismet14 replied to Andie_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you Rachael and Andi for your thoughts and sympathy. I'll check both sites you recommended.

This community has been very helpful to me. I'll still drop by from time to time to check what's going on.

-noemi


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